Now that we’ve done the overview of elementals, it’s finally time to get into the nitty-gritty. And as the word gritty naturally makes me think of dirt, gravel, and things of an earthen nature… we’ll start with earth elementals!
As the name implies, earth elementals are beings of rock and stone. Although, there are different varieties. Everything from dust and sand to those of a more crystalline or even metallic nature.
But, we’ll keep the focus on those of rock and stone as much as possible.
Earth elementals tend to be the most patient, stable, and dependable of all elementals. Also, one of the safest to have in places of dense population. They don’t set fire to things the way a fire elemental would, or cause water damage as a water elemental might. I suppose air elementals aren’t too bad either… provided you don’t mind your papers getting scattered everywhere!
I swear when I find who let that air elemental into my office, I’ll make sure they get an up close and personal experience with some of the nastier entries in this compendium!
But, back to earth elementals.
They can cause some degree of damage simply by moving as they are large and incredibly heavy. Keep them off your delicately tiled floors.
However, places that make use of these elementals tend to be smart enough to ensure durable floors.
Earth elementals come in all shapes and sizes, and I’m not quite sure why or how. At one stage, I thought that larger elementals would be older, smarter, and more developed. But, then I met a wizard who had a four-foot tall elemental of polished stone that wiped the floor with him at chess.
And, I’ve since encountered large elementals that can only be described as prodigiously stupid. And, everything in-between. In fact, I’d have to say there seems to be little correlation between size and intelligence.
As for age… you’d think it’d be the simplest thing to discern as some elementals are capable of speech, but no. Even the highly intelligent ones have a concept of time that is… shall we say lacking?
I suppose when you don’t need nearly as much in the way of sustenance and you don’t die of old age there’s little point in keeping track of time.
So, they respond to the question of age with a vagueness that’ll have you pulling out your hair!
That aside, just getting an earth elemental to talk is an exercise in patience and often futility. They often ignore any attempt at conversation unless bribed with tasty rocks, gems, or metals. And, then they lean toward short answers.
Earth elementals tend to be incredibly strong and damn near impossible to kill. Trying to kill one with a non-magical steel sword is about as productive as trying to fell trees with your fingernails. A bad thing if you make the mistake of angering one, but definitely an asset in guards or soldiers.
I believe the dwarven geomancers excel at summoning and caring for earth elementals.
They’ve perfected the art of summoning certain types of earth elementals. I believe they stand more than twice the height of a dwarf with strength to spare. Even the deadly skree find them a challenge to deal with.
As for the care and details of summoning, that’s best left to magical texts. I will say, however, that they seem quite content as long as they’re fed stones and rocks that cater to their particular tastes. Some even enjoy eating ores of various kinds.
As for The Plane of Earth which these creatures call home… little is known about it. The earth elementals rarely talk about it, but it’s said to be a place of endless mountains, caves, dust, dirt, stone, and rock.
One record even goes as far as to say that the entire plane is one massive cavern. That there is no sun and what little light there is comes from glowing crystals scattered around.
It is believed that an elemental lord rules over the plane of earth. A being of power that eclipses the elementals I’m speaking of. I have come across references to elemental lords fighting with titans and other primordials in The Great War.
In other words, they are beings whose power we cannot even fathom.
All in all, earth elementals are slow to anger, incredibly useful, stubborn, but patient and generally easy to deal with. They can be angered. They can be destructive and evil, but usually they’re fairly neutral.
Each is to be treated as an individual with its own personality, thoughts, beliefs, and virtues. And, keep in mind that summoning rituals bring them to Terra from their home plane of their own free will and involve a bargain of sorts.
In other words, don’t mistake their patience for subservience. Treat them with respect, and you’ll generally be fine. Don’t be like one of my late students who thought he could use one for target practice.
I believe he’ll be coming out of hospital with his remaining appendages sometime soon.
- Nicholas Wolfram, Professor of Monsterology at Lestria University